How do I relieve Shin Splints?

Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS) or “shin splints” is a common injury seen in new runners, runners that rapidly increase their training load, or after a drastic change in surface (eg a trail runner who runs a road half marathon with little of their training being on the road). It presents as pain over the medial (inside) border of the tibia (shin bone)

Intrinsic risk factors for MTSS include increased BMI, navicular drop, ankle plantar flexion ROM, and hip external rotation ROM

Unfortunately there is no evidence of a single treatment being effective in relieving MTSS. But there are a few things we can do to help ease the pain, and prevent it from happening again in the future, or from turning into a stress fracture (worst case scenario)

🏃🏼‍♀️Identify what the likely cause is – load, shoes, terrain etc

🏃🏼‍♀️What can you do to fix what you think may have caused it?

🏃🏼‍♀️Decrease your training load, you need to give this injury time to rest

🏃🏼‍♀️Try and increase your cadence. Ideally we want to be in the sweet spot of 170-180 steps/min. You want to do this gradually, ie if you’re currently running at 160 steps/min, try for 165 steps/min to start. Note that shorter runners will naturally have a higher cadence than taller runners

🏃🏼‍♀️Strength training! Ahh you knew that was coming didn’t you? Prioritizing calf and specifically Tibialis Posterior strength is key here

🏃🏼‍♀️Most importantly, listen to your body. Seeking early treatment from your Physiotherapist will go a long way here. In the mean time you can keep your cardio up with cycling, elliptical, or rowing

Looking for a running specific strength program? Check out Run Strong – a 6 month progressive strength program designed specifically for runners! #TrainWithAPurpose

📚PMID: 30860714

📚Science of Running, Chris Napier

Share this post

This website uses cookies 🍪 (yum) to ensure you get the best user experience. See the Privacy policy for more information.